Ashes: Why are England wearing black armbands in the Boxing Day Test?
England are sporting black armbands on the first day of the Boxing Day Test
The gesture is to honour former skipper coach and selector Raymond Illingworth, who died on Christmas Day
Australia won the toss and chose to bowl
The English players are wearing black armbands on Day 1 of the third Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. The gesture in to honour former skipper coach and selector Raymond Illingworth, who died on Christmas Day.
Ray Illingwoeth died on December 25 at the age of 89. He led England to a 2-0 Ashes win in Australia in 1970-71. The former skipper had been undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer.
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After captaining England 31 times, winning 12 of those matches, Illingworth served as chairman of selectors between 1993 and 1996 and coached the national team in 1995-96.
Illingworth had a remarkable domestic career with Yorkshire and Leicestershire. He played 61 Tests for England between 1958 and 1973, scoring 1836 runs at an average of 23.24. The Englishman also had 122 wickets at 31.20 against his name. He hit 22 first-class centuries and took 446 catches.
"Playing under Illy was a marvellous experience, going to school under a stern and humorous headmaster whose own foibles made him that much more of a human being," former England skipper David Gower remembered his predecessor.
"Above all this headmaster had standards. And only if you observed those standards were you admitted to the inner circle of his confidence. You had to look after yourself in what he considered to be a proper manner on and off the field. If you did all that he loved you; if you didn't, he would be down on you. His attitude to any and every game of cricket was 100% effort," ESPN cricinfo quoted Gower.
Australia won the toss and chose to bowl on Sunday. Skipper Pat Cummins effected two early dismissals with the new ball, reducing the visitors to 13/2. The hosts will retain the urn if they avoid a defeat at the MCG.
The English players had sported black armbands in the first Test at the Gabba in memory of the world’s oldest living Test cricketer, Eileen Ash, who died at the age of 110.